Occasional downpours to dampen Memorial Day weekend activities in northeastern US

By Renee Duff, AccuWeather meteorologist
May 27, 2018, 11:16:51 AM EDT


While people in the Northeast will have to dodge showers and thunderstorms into Memorial Day, the holiday weekend will not be a complete washout.

Showers will riddle the area over the holiday weekend, but people should plan on the idea that most of the time will be rain-free, according to AccuWeather Chief Meteorologist Elliot Abrams.

The area of high pressure that brought the recent stretch of dry conditions has settled off the Atlantic coast, allowing storminess to return to the mid-Atlantic and New England.

NE Sunday May 26


Downpours may force people attending cookouts, parades, memorial services and other holiday activities in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Baltimore and New York City to run for cover on occasion.

Following an unsettled start on Saturday, Sunday may prove to be the wettest period during the holiday weekend across the mid-Atlantic and southern New England. Northern New England will dry during this time.

Enough dry air may punch into the central Great Lakes and Ohio Valley for wet weather to be kept at bay in Detroit and Cleveland on Sunday, following Saturday's storms.

During a busy weekend for outdoor activities, be sure to head inside as soon as you see dark, billowing clouds and hear thunder to avoid the risk of being struck by lightning.

Motorists traveling along area interstates should anticipate delays due to the damp conditions and increased holiday traffic. Flight delays may occur as storms wander over the major airport hubs.

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Localized flooding will remain a concern, especially where an abundance of rain has fallen so far this month and storms hit repeatedly over the weekend.

Torrential rain inundated areas in between Philadelphia and New York City on Sunday morning. Water rescues were performed in Mercer County, New Jersey, where 5.54 inches of rain poured down in just three hours.

This heavy rain will give way to drenching thunderstorms across the southern mid-Atlantic, including Washington, D.C., on Sunday afternoon. A few of the thunderstorms may also kick up gusty winds.

It will take less than an inch of rain in one hour for flash flooding to ensue across much of the mid-Atlantic.

While moisture from the Gulf of Mexico will help to enhance the downpours across the Northeast, the heaviest rainfall and highest flood risk associated with Alberto will remain farther south into early week.

In addition to needing umbrellas on occasion, residents and visitors across New England and the upper mid-Atlantic coast will need to pull out extra layers by Sunday.

“A cold front from eastern Canada will slip southward through New England, leading to cool and damp conditions in Providence, Rhode Island, Boston and Portland, Maine, on Sunday,” Abrams said.

Following temperatures in the 80s F to kick off the weekend in Boston, people will be grabbing for jackets on Sunday as temperatures remain in the lower 50s most of the day. A breeze will hold AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures to the 40s.

The cooler air will even progress into New York City, where highs will drop from near 90 to near 70 during the same time frame.

Temperatures will not dip as severely farther south and west.

Memorial Day 5.27 AM


Memorial Day may mark a slight moderation in temperatures across southeast New England and also turn out to be the driest day of the holiday weekend in the Northeast.

The push of dry air that will likely keep the central Great Lakes and Ohio Valley rain-free on Sunday is expected to spread into the Northeast by the holiday.

“Showers will tend to be more spotty on Memorial Day,” Abrams said.

The forecast looks promising across most of the Northeast, including the I-95 corridor. Advancing showers in northern New England and spotty storms in the mid-Atlantic may only bring brief interruptions to outdoor plans.

The mainly dry weather will likely hold into Tuesday as people head back to work and school.

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